What Does Your Role on a Desert Island Say About You?

What Does Your Role on a Desert Island Say About You?

By Desmond Homann, Variety Editor Originally published in Issue 10, Volume 33 of The University Register on March 26, 2021

I’m rewatching “Lost” for the first time in seven or eight years and I’m finding myself once again thinking those DESERTED ISLAND THOUGHTS. (Okay, you got me there—the island isn’t technically uninhabited or deserted, but I’m not going to be the guy who spoils a show... that came out 15 years ago...) My first time watching the show, I was obsessed. It was then that I first experienced this thought that many of us have had: what would I do if I crashed on a mysterious island? Well, reader, I am here to share some insights with you if you are willing to answer a few questions. (I should note that the information here is not directly related to “Lost” but is about a more general castaway island experience.)

1. What is your initial reaction to finding yourself on this island?

I’m panicking, running all over the place, and unable to believe that this is really happening. I’m too overwhelmed to notice much about the people around me.

You have a heart of gold, a vast imagination, and can easily cheer up the people around you. You also need to go to therapy. No nicer way to put it. Just because you focus on making others happy doesn’t mean that you can’t turn some of that attention to yourself.

I am nervous, but collect myself a little so I can check on others who look a bit worse off than me. It’s the right thing to do.

People often comment that you’re the kind of person who has their life together, that knows what their plans are going forward. The reality is that you have enough confidence and social skills to hide your procrastination and disorganization. It’s okay! It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, just don’t beat yourself up when things don’t go your way.

Everyone seems so distracted right now that I could probably take all the helpful things that I can get my hands on. What I use them for later is my own business.

I’m not one to tell you what you can or can’t do. You may try to go against the flow, going so far as to argue over little things just so you can feel like you’ve won something, but that doesn’t make you a bad person at all. Your quickness in gathering supplies, though they might not belong to you, indicates that you may come from a background where you were surrounded by other people (siblings? friends?) who made you feel left behind or left out? I can’t deeply analyze you, sorry. I’m only an English major.

I am generally unbothered by however I got here. Things usually work out for me, so I’ll just sit back and wait for help to get here.

Lol. It’s okay, I also have MAIN CHARACTER SYNDROME. It’s not that you won’t help other people at all, it’s more that your reactions are a bit... slower and quieter. Once you realize the gravity of the situation, you’ll probably be helping everyone with even the littlest things, but until something seems urgent you tend to just go with the flow. It’s a risk at times, and you are not too worried about the chance of shifting gears if things go downhill.

I died on impact.

My condolences. I don’t know anything about your personality, though.

2. It’s been a few days on the island and you’re running low on food. What’s the plan?

I’ll gather some fruits, nuts, berries, and other plants that look edible. Maybe I’ll ask around to see if anyone can tell which ones are safe to eat.

You’re the organizer type. You probably joined a lot of clubs in high school or college and cared quite a bit about the way others perceived you. Your networking skills are what will take you far, so don’t be afraid to gather some good minds together in difficult times.

I think I can put together some sort of homemade trap. Anyone for some grilled rabbit?

Despite what people think, you were not in the Scouts and you have not done much camping. Your biggest challenge on the island and in real life will often be bugs. Yes, you’re the kind of person who jumps when they accidentally walk into a spider’s web, but always tries to play it off like it was no big deal.

I could try to fish. I’ve gone fishing a few times with my grandpa, but this is a little different...

You’re a very resilient person, easily bouncing back when things don’t work out. You’d like to think of yourself as being low maintenance and not too picky, but close friends who have known you forever will say that you can be more particular when it comes to things that you care about. You’re the kind of person that would have a shouting match with someone over what the right sandwich toppings are.

Am I really the only one here who is willing to go for bugs as a source of protein?

Heck yeah! You are either SUPER COOL or SUPER CREEPY and there is no in-between. Regardless of which one you are, you’ll think you’re super cool, and I guess that’s what matters most? You have no filter, but can be a lot of fun when you’re in a good mood. Because of your risk-taking personality, some people question your intelligence, but you’re smarter than people would think. Hmm.

3. Let’s be honest, how long are you lasting on the island?

I’d start off strong, but dehydration is a beast of a problem when you’re surrounded by saltwater. I can’t survive past a month or two.

Hey, you’re realistic and I like that about you. You’re the friend who would tell me that, yes, that shirt DOES look bad on me. You aren’t really one for crowds, but it’s not that you’re shy or anything. You simply haven’t found company that you “click” with yet.

Hunting accident, whoops. I’m gone in the second or third week.

You are quick to act and twice as quick to speak, always inviting friends on some half-planned adventure. Are we going to sit on your roof and look at the stars? Are we going to buy 100 chicken nuggets and eat them as fast as we can? Are we going to pick a random direction and just drive? All I know is that you’re going to give it 110% (and I wish you had lasted longer on the island.)

I worked my way to the top and became the leader of the village we’ve put together here on the island. I am in power for 2 years and then spend several more years in a hut down by the beach talking about the state of things. Maybe I die from illness or injury, as I didn’t focus enough on medical care when I was in power.

Wow, your head must hurt from carrying that big brain of yours. Sorry to be mean, it’s just that you’re the easiest person to pick on because I know you won’t take it personally. You probably understand sarcasm better than I do, and you’re the kind of person who would stop a friend from falling for a scam. Just don’t get so frustrated when you’re caught off guard.

I tried my best but things happen and somehow I die right before our one-year anniversary of crashing here.

Mysterious. Just like you? I guess I wouldn’t know. You get along well with everyone, but are careful about what parts of yourself you share. It’s not about secrets and deep dark pasts, but more that you are smart in how you play the cards that life has dealt you. There’s a sort of leverage you can get by not giving away too much about yourself, but it only benefits you if you don’t close yourself off completely.

I learn the secrets of the island and become immortal, but like, not in a religious way like in “Lost.”

I don’t understand what you are trying to tell me and I fear you. Thanks. -Management

Image on top courtesy of Freepik